Children are Exposed to Dangerous, Highly Toxic Pesticides in School Foods.

Perception: Children are not exposed to pesticides in foods served in schools.

Reality: Texas Public Schools serve foods made with conventionally grown ingredients. The majority of conventionally grown foods contain multiple highly toxic pesticides which can effect the health of children.

Key Points:

*"Diet can be a major source of exposure for children. As they grow, children drink more water and eat more food, per body weight, than do adults. Water and food containing pesticide residues may therefore be a source of chronic, low-level or high-level pesticide exposure."

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/notes/2004/np19/en/

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Source:

Children are facing high risks from pesticide poisoning, (2004, September 24). Retrieved from https://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/notes/2004/np19/en/

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Key Points:

*"Children are at a greater risk for some pesticides for a number of reasons. Children's internal organs are still developing and maturing and their enzymatic, metabolic, and immune systems may provide less natural protection than those of an adult. There are "critical periods" in human development when exposure to a toxin can permanently alter the way an individual's biological system operates. Children may be exposed more to certain pesticides because often they eat different foods that adults."

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Source:

Children Are at Greater Risks from Pesticide Exposure, (2002, January). Retrieved from https://archive.epa.gov/pesticides/regulating/laws/fqpa/web/html/kidpesticide.html

Key Points:

*"Recent research suggests that even low levels of pesticide exposure can affect young children's neurological and behavioral development."

*"For their weight, children consume more food and drink that adults, increasing their possible dietary exposure; dietary exposure is compounded by children's immature livers and excretory systems, which ay be unable to effectively remove pesticide metabolites (Landrigan et al., 2004)"

*"Recent research has also linked ADHD with organophosphates in children 8 to 15 years old (Bouchard, Bellinger, Wright, & Weisskopf, 2010)."

*"A major route of pesticide exposure in young children is dietary ingestion. Organic diets have been popularized in the media and among the public, and several studies support their benefit in limiting pesticide exposure (Curl, Fenske, & Elgethum, 2003; Lu, Barr, Pearson, Bartell, & Bravo, 2006)."

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Source:

Jianghong Liu, PhD (2012, May). Pesticide Exposure and Child Neurodevelopment. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4247335/

Key Points:

*"Pesticides can enter the body orally (through the mouth and digestive system), dermally (through the skin), or by inhalation (through the nose and respiratory system)."

*"Oral exposure may occur because of an accident, but is more likely to occur as the result of carelessness, such as blowing out a plugged nozzle; smoking or eating without washing your hands after using a pesticide; or eating food that has been recently sprayed with a pesticide."

*"Chronic Toxicity refers to harmful effects produced by long-term, low-level exposure to chemicals."

*"We do not have control of the toxicity of a pesticide since toxicity is a given characteristic of a particular pesticide; however, we can have control over our exposure to pesticides."

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Source:

Brad Kard, Kevin Shelton, Charles Luper (no date listed). Pesticide ApplicatorCertification Series Toxicity of Pesticides. Retrieved from http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-3591/EPP-7457web.pdf

Key Points:

*Commonly used pesticides can have wide range of health effects including "cancer, endocrine disruption, reproductive effects, neurotoxicity, kidney/liver damage, sensitizer/irritant, and birth/development defects."

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Source:

Beyond Pesticides Health Effects of 40 Commonly Used Toxic Pesticides in Schools. (No date listed). Retrieved from https://beyondpesticides.org/assets/media/documents/schools/publications/40SchoolPesticides.pdf

Key Points:

*"These Pesticides are also used on some of the most commonly eaten and popular produce, including apples, cucumbers, grapes, kale, spinach, strawberries, and tomatoes, all of which appear on the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) 2016 "Dirty Dozen" list."

*Atrazine - "It has been linked to adverse development, hormonal, and reproductive effects, and potentially to certain cancers."

*Chlorpyrifos - "Chlorpyrifos belongs to the category of insecticides called organophosphates, which kill insects by attacking their nervous systems." "However, levels of chlorpyrifos residue measured on produce regularly eaten by women and children were found by the EPA to exceed the current safety levels by "up to 14,000 percent," said Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC) scientists Miriam Rotkin-Ellman and Veena Singla."

*Glyphosate -"Nearly all corn and soy grown in the U.S. is now treated with glyphosate." "In 2015, the World Health Organization's International Agency or Research on Cancer (IARC) classified glyphosate as a probable human carcinogen."

*Malathion - "Malathion is used on a wide variety of food crops-and livestock feed-most intensively in California's Central Valley, Florida, parts of Kansas, and the Pacific Northwest." "Like chlorpyrifos, malathion is an organophosphate and neurotoxin." "Malathion can be absorbed by the skin as well as inhaled and can adversely affect the digestive, respiratory, nervous, and cardiovascular systems."

*Neonicotinoids - "Use on U.S. corn and soy has increased ten-fold on the past decade. "Neocics" are also used on wheat, grapes, citrus, and nut orchards, and applied as sprays and seed treatments. The use of some neonicotinoids has doubled or tripled in less than 10 years."

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Source:

Grossman,Elizabeth. (2017, February 2). As Trump’s EPA Takes Shape, Here’s Your Pesticide Cheat Sheet. Retrieved from https://civileats.com/2017/02/02/as-trumps-epa-takes-shape-heres-your-pesticide-cheat-sheet/

Key Point:

*"Dietary intake represents the major source of pesticide exposure for infants and children..."

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Source:

U.S. Right to Know. (2016, November 23). New USDA Data Shows 85% of Foods Tested Have Pesticide Residues. Retrieved from https://www.ecowatch.com/usda-pesticide-exposure-2105041546.html

Key Points:

*"More than 10,000 chemicals are allowed to be added, directly or indirectly, to human food pursuant to the United States’ (US) Food Additives Amendment of 1958 as administered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [1]."

*"Almost two-thirds of chemical additives appear to have been declared safe for use in food without the benefit of being fed to an animal in a controlled toxicology study."

*"Because FDA does not have a system to track usage of chemicals, it is unknown whether all of the allowed chemical additives are currently being used to process foods. In addition, there are an estimated 1000 chemical additives for which FDA has no information as to their names, uses, and in which foods they currently are used [1]."

*"More than 100,000 pounds of the chemical is used in food annually."

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Source:

Thomas G. Nelner, Heather M. Alger, Jack E. Leonard, Mariel V. Maffini. (2013, July 23). Data gaps in toxicity testing of chemicals allowed in food in the United States. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0890623813003298

Key Points:

*"Tolerances are expressed in terms of parts by weight of the pesticide chemical per one million parts by weight of the raw agricultural commodity."

*Contains lists of herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides allowed on conventionally grown foods.

*Contains lists of treated conventionally grown foods and allowable pesticide tolerances.

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Source:

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations. (2018, December 21). Retrieved from https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?SID=a3b649316ccb17c31211db2edd81f789&mc=true&node=pt40.24.180&rgn=div5

Key Points:

*"The Total Diet Study (TDS) is an ongoing FDA program that monitors levels of about 800 contaminants and nutrients in the average U.S. diet; the number varies slightly from year to year."

*"Since it began in 1961, as a program to monitor for radioactive contamination of foods, the TDS has expanded to include pesticide residues, industrial and other toxic chemicals, and nutrient elements. "

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Source:

Total Diet Study. (2018, February 23). Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodScienceResearch/TotalDietStudy/default.htm

Key Points:

*1990 and 2003 Lists of Diet Study results for multiple foods

*Lists Total Diet Study Food/Analyte Matrix" for "PESTICIDES ACID HERBICIDES

LEAD, IODINE, MERCURY ALL OTHER ELEMENTS RADIONUCLIDES (WEAC)"

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Source:

Total Diet Study Food/Analyte Matrix. (No date listed). Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/FoodScienceResearch/TotalDietStudy/UCM458731.pdf

Key Points:

*"There are more than 1000 pesticides used around the world to ensure food is not damaged or destroyed by pests."

*"Pesticide residue refers to the pesticides that may remain on or in food after they are applied to food crops." 

*"Persistent chemicals can be magnified through the food chain and have been detected in products ranging from meat, poultry, and fish, to vegetable oils, nuts, and various fruits and vegetables."

*"The application of pesticides can result in residues at detectable concentrations in food."

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Source:

Pesticides Creative Diagnostics-Food & Feed Analysis. Retrieved from https://www.creative-diagnostics.com/food-analysis/tag-pesticides-19.htm

Key Points:

*"For half a century, U.S. staple foods such as corn, wheat, apples and citrus have been sprayed with chlorpyrifos, a dangerous pesticide that can damage the developing brains of children, causing reduced IQ, loss of working memory, and attention deficit disorders."

*"Chlorpyrifos is acutely toxic and associated with neurodevelopmental harms in children."

*"People are exposed to chlorpyrifos through residues on food, drinking water contamination, and toxic spray drift from pesticide applications."

*" All food exposures exceed safe levels, with children ages 1–2 exposed to levels of chlorpyrifos that are 140 times what EPA deems safe."

*"Chlorpyrifos is used on a wide variety of crops including apples, oranges, strawberries, corn, wheat, citrus and other foods families and their children eat daily.

*"In fact, over half of all apples and broccoli in the U.S. are sprayed with chlorpyrifos.

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Source: 

EARTHJUSTICE Chlorpyriforos The toxic pesticide now harming our children and environment. (No date listed). Retrieved from https://earthjustice.org/features/what-you-need-to-know-about-chlorpyrifos 

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Key Points:

*”A second round of tests commissioned by the Environmental Working Group found the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer in every sample of popular oat-based cereal and other oat-based food marketed to children.”

*”The tests detected glyphosate in all 28 samples of products made with conventionally grown oats.”

*” The highest level of glyphosate found by the lab was 2,837 ppb in Quaker Oatmeal Squares breakfast cereal, nearly 18 times higher than EWG’s children’s health benchmark.”

*”The EPA’s legal limit for glyphosate on oats, 30 parts per million, was set in 2008, well before the cancer findings of the IARC and California state scientists.

*”The FDA found glyphosate on about two-thirds of corn and soybean samples. But it did not test any oats or wheat, the two main crops on which glyphosate is used as a pre-harvest drying agent.

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Source:

Formuzis, Alex. Roundup for Breakfast, Part 2: In New Tests, Weed Killer Found in All kids' cereals sampled. (2018, October 24). Retrieved from https://www.ewg.org/release/roundup-breakfast-part-2-new-tests-weed-killer-found-all-kids-cereals-sampled

Key Points:

*"Products containing malathion are used outdoors to control a wide variety of insects in agricultural settings and around people's homes."

*”Malathion is an insecticide in the chemical family known as organophosphates.”

*”Malathion kills insects by preventing their nervous system from working properly.

*”People, pets and other animals can be affected the same way as insects if they are exposed to enough malathion.

*”You could also be exposed to residues of malathion if you ate food that had been treated with this pesticide.”

*”In both humans and animals, malathion travels to the liver and kidneys and affects the nervous system.”

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Source:

National Pesticide Information Center, Malathion General Fact Sheet. (2010, May). Retrieved from http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/malagen.html

Key Points:

*"Find Out :: What's on your food?"

*Resource data bank of foods and pesticides.

*Identify what pesticides are on foods.

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Source:

PAN, What's on My Food? Retrieved from http://www.whatsonmyfood.org/food.jsp?food=AP 

Key Points:

*" The available information indicates that POPs residues are present in virtually all categories of foods, including baked goods, fruit, vegetables, meat, poultry, and dairy products. Residues of five or more persistent toxic chemicals in a single food item are not unusual, with the most commonly found POPs being the pesticides DDT (and its metabolites, such as DDE) and dieldrin."

*"Our findings indicate that the US food supply is contaminated with levels of POPs chemicals that result in exposures at or above the health based standards."

*" Figure 1 shows that for children, dietary intake of the pesticide dieldrin can be well above risk thresholds set by government agencies. When it comes to protecting children from POPs,“safe”levels of exposure are even lower. Children eat disproportionately more of certain foods on a pound for pound body weight basis than does an average weight adult male. In addition, young children’s bodies are engaged in a multitude of hormone directed developmental processes that are uniquely susceptible to disruption from POPs chemicals."

*"Some of the human health effects now linked to POPs exposure include cancer, learning disorders, impaired immune function, reproductive dysfunction (for example, low sperm counts, endometriosis—probably as a result of endocrine disruption), and diabetes.19–21"

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Source:

K S Schafer, S E Kegley. (2002, April 23). Persistent toxic chemicals in the US food supply. Retrieved from https://jech.bmj.com/content/jech/56/11/813.full.pdf

 

Key Points:

*”The food we eat exposes us to chemicals – such as DDT, PCBs, PBDEs, dioxin, and certain pesticides – that accumulate in fatty tissues and concentrate as they climb up the food chain.

*”In the last four decades, the prevalence of obesity among U.S. adolescents has quadrupled. Exposure to chemicals called “obesogens” at key points in development could lead to metabolic abnormalities that increase the odds of obesity later in life. For example, bisphenol A makes rodents grow larger and develop insulin resistance after they are exposed in the womb – factors that can lead to type 2 diabetes. The pesticides hexachlorobenzene, atrazine and tributyl-tin have similar effects.”

*”Exposure to mixtures of chemicals can cause greater damage than exposure to individual substances alone.”

**”Traditionally, toxicologists have studied chemicals one at a time to determine how hazardous they are. This approach is likely to underestimate the potential danger because we are never exposed to just one chemical at a time in the real world. Scientists are discovering that mixtures of active chemicals – especially when they act on the same underlying mechanism of life – can have a greater impact together than any individual chemical alone.

P. 18 *”An endocrine disrupting chemical can interfere with key steps in human development in ways that likely contribute to a range of diseases, from birth defects, to abnormal behavior, to cancer.”

P. 19*”Traditionally, toxicologists have studied chemicals in isolation to determine how hazardous they are. However, this approach is likely to underestimate the potential danger. In the real world, we are never exposed to just one chemical at a time.

P.19*”Scientists are discovering that mixtures of active chemicals – especially when they act on the same underlying mechanism of life – can have a greater impact together than any individual chemical alone.”

P.36*”In 1985, there were 650,000 to 750,000 people diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). By 2000, that number had risen to 4-5 million, mostly school-aged children.1

P. 42*”While the children did not differ in physical growth patterns, children exposed to high levels of pesticides were less mentally able to perform basic tasks and showed behavioral problems.

P. 42*”For example, Dr. Guillette asked 4-year olds to draw a picture of a person. Less- exposed children were able to produce recognizable drawings, while children with high levels of pesticides were not. (See figure 6.) Heavily exposed children were also deficient in stamina, balance, hand-eye coordination, and in short-term memory compared to their less-exposed counterparts.”

P. 44*”Some diseases affecting children – such as asthma and allergies – are closely tied to the function of the immune system. If the immune system is overly sensitized, it can react more severely to potential threats, causing asthma attacks or allergic reactions.”

P. 44*”Asthma is much more common in children today than it was 40 years ago. The prevalence of the disease has nearly tripled in children since 1980.216”

P. 45*”The rising rates of asthma and allergies cannot fully be attributed to dirtier air or exposure to more cockroaches or dust mites. Exposure to chemicals may be playing a role in the incidence of the disease.”

P. 51*”In 1980 the age-adjusted incidence of diagnosed diabetes was 3.5 per 1,000 people. By 2008, that number had increased 131 percent to 8.1 per 1,000.265”

P. 54*”Exposure to a variety of toxic pesticides appears to contribute to metabolic disorders, obesity and diabetes.

Read Full Article:

Source:

Travis Madsen, Frontier Group; Elizabeth Hitchcock, U.S. PIRG Education Fund. (2011, March). Growing Up Toxic: Chemical Exposures and Increases in Developmental Disease. Retrieved from https://njpirg.org/sites/pirg/files/reports/NJPIRG%20-%20Growing-Up-Toxic-Update-final-word-version_nj.pdf

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